Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch returns to Spain despite cartel threat to his life
The Kinahan cartel's number one target Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch has returned to Spain - despite the ongoing threat to his life from the ruthless crime organisation.
In a brazen show of defiance, Hutch has spent several weeks back in Lanzarote, even though he previously survived a murder attempt by Kinahan hitmen on the holiday island.
Sources have confirmed to the Herald that the 54-year-old went back to the island because he "feels very comfortable" there.
It is the first time he has been spotted in Europe since spending some of last December in Northern Ireland.
"Despite the threat against him, it's believed that Hutch went back there because he trusts people at the location," a source said.
"He spent a long time over the years on the island and clearly feels that the threat to his life is not as severe in sunny Spain."
Last night, senior sources said gardai are baffled as to why Hutch would spend time in a location where he was previously targeted.
On New Year's Eve 2015, he narrowly escaped an attempt on his life when two gunmen wearing balaclavas burst into a pub in Lanzarote where he had been drinking only moments before.
That attempt on his life came only months after the Kinahans murdered his nephew, Gary Hutch, at an apartment complex on the Costa del Sol.
His murder led to the eruption of the bloody Hutch/Kinahan feud, which has so far claimed the lives of 12 men, including two innocent fathers.
It previously emerged that gardai want to question Hutch about the planning of the Regency Hotel hit, but a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is not in place for the veteran criminal.
The Lanzarote sighting is the first time that Hutch's location has been disclosed since the Herald revealed that he spent Christmas in a safe-house in the North.
It was the first time he had surfaced since being spotted in Istanbul last October.
The last time publicity-shy Hutch was photographed was when he showed up in disguise at his slain older brother Eddie's funeral.
He was brought to that ceremony by feud victim Noel Kirwan, who was warned shortly afterwards by gardai that his life was under threat from the cartel.
It was Gary Hutch's murder on September 24, 2015, that started the deadly feud.
It emerged afterwards that The Monk had organised the payment of €200,000 to the Kinahan cartel to spare his life and allow him to "retire" from the gang.
However, it has been reported that the Kinahan mob reneged on the deal and then demanded a further €200,000 from the Hutches.
The cartel's determination to wipe out associates of 'The Monk' has led to dozens of members of his extended family being warned about active threats against their lives, simply because they are related to Gerry Hutch.
Many of these are innocent women, including a close relative who was forced to cancel her wedding plans because of fears that the event would be targeted by the cartel.
Shortly after the Regency Hotel attack, in which cartel figure David Byrne (33) was shot dead, 'The Monk' was officially warned by gardai about an active threat against his life and he fled Ireland.
When he celebrated his 50th birthday with 250 friends and family members in Lanzarote in April 2013, he could have had no idea about the problems ahead for his family.
The former criminal mastermind grew up in Dublin's north inner city and was involved in crime from an early age.
He is suspected of being involved in a number of major robberies, including a Brinks Allied heist in Clonshaugh in 1995.
Since the Regency hotel attack, The Monk has seen his brother Eddie Hutch Snr, close pal Noel Duggan, nephew Gareth Hutch and close friend Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwin shot dead.
Hutch's brother Patsy is now the prime target for the Kinahans in Ireland.